Idaho’s Child Support Services: An FAQ

Question: What’s going on with the Child Support services I receive?

Answer: Friday afternoon, the House Judiciary, Rules, and Administration Committee tabled key Child Support Legislation (known as UIFSA) that governs how Idaho works with other other states in the U.S. and foreign countries to collect and distribute Child Support Payments. This means that the legislation did not pass, and as a result, Idaho’s Child Support Program no longer meets federal requirements.Idaho expects the federal government to take steps to impose financial sanctions against Idaho’s Child Support Program. Department of Health & Welfare leadership is meeting with top officials from the Federal Child Support Program this week to determine what will happen next and when actions will be taken.  Continue reading

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Idaho’s ability to collect child support payments in question after committee votes to table bill

The future of Idaho’s Child Support program is uncertain after members of the House Judiciary, Rules and Administration committee voted Friday afternoon to table Senate Bill 1067. The bill would have allowed the state to meet minimum federal requirements for working on child support cases with foreign countries.

“This is new territory for us,” said Richard Armstrong, director of the Department of Health and Welfare, which manages the state’s child support program. “We’ll work with our federal partners to determine the total impact, but this vote will make it nearly impossible for us to enforce child support like we should, so Idaho’s children are taken care of. The bottom line is that Idaho families may not receive their support money because we will not have the tools we need to make sure those payments are made.” Continue reading

If you work with a social worker, tell them thank you today.

March is Social Work Recognition Month, according to House Concurrent Resolution No. 9, which is winding its way through the legislative process. It’s a good time to recognize and give a quick “thank you” to the more than 300 social workers at the Department of Health and Welfare.

DHW social workers do a variety of work in several of the department’s divisions, including Family and Community Services, Behavioral Health, Licensing and Certification, Medicaid and Welfare. They come into contact with extremely vulnerable Idahoans who are seeking help, often in difficult circumstances. Continue reading

Public records requests keep DHW busy

As the state of Idaho celebrates the 25th anniversary of the public records law, it’s worth noting that the Department of Health and Welfare received 1,137 public records requests in calendar year 2014. That’s an increase of nearly a third from the 880 we received in 2013.

The vast majority of those requests were from the public, not the media, which submitted just 20 requests for public records in 2014. Continue reading